Rory McIlroy hits dad Gerry with wayward shot at Masters

Rory McIlroy inadvertently hit his father Gerry with a wayward shot as he struggled to an opening 76 on day one of the 85th Masters.

McIlroy was already two over par when he pushed his approach to the seventh hole to the right of the green, where it hit his father on the back of the leg.

The former world number one had at least shouted the traditional warning of “Fore” and Gerry was able to see the funny side, joking with reporters: “I should ask for an autographed glove.”

“I think he just needs to go put some ice on it,” McIlroy said after his round. “Maybe I’ll autograph a bag of frozen peas for him.”

McIlroy needs to win the Masters to complete a career grand slam but has struggled for form recently and has started consulting coach Pete Cowen on a formal basis.

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The 31-year-old’s last major title came in the 2014 US PGA Championship and he is without a win of any description since November 2019.

“It’s pretty obvious how crusty the greens are getting and it was tricky to leave the ball below the pin and give yourself a lot of looks for birdies,” McIlroy said after a round containing six bogeys and two birdies.

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy tees off on the 18th hole during the first round of the 85th Masters (Matt Slocum/AP)

“I’m quite encouraged with the way I hit it on the way in. I hit some loose shots out there but after the six iron in the water on 13 I hit some really good shots.

“I’m going to go to the range to work on it a little bit more but it was just one of those days where I wasn’t very efficient with my scoring.”